Gauteng Premier David Makhura has committed to rescuing an R525 million Business Processing Outsourcing (BPO) park in Hammanskraal after unfulfilled promises of 3 000 jobs upon completion. On the site, an unfinished wall and a concrete slab have been vandalized.
The project, launched in 2016, was hailed as a game-changer since it provided small and medium micro-enterprises with on-site training, technical help, and incubators. The project was expected to be completed this year, but it slipped behind schedule.
The project came to a standstill under the careful eye of then-Tshwane mayor Solly Msimanga due to a group of local companies needing labor during construction.
Makhura blamed the incomplete project on the Democratic Alliance (DA) -led administration, claiming that things began to go wrong when they assumed control in 2016. He said that the scheme would have helped unemployed peasants who had to go as far as Centurion in search of work.
“From 2016, the BPO park in Hammanskraal stopped being done the way it was supposed to be done. Every year I come here, I am told that they are still waiting for a budget. I told the municipality that the building of the park is very important because 3 000 jobs in the township are a lot of jobs,” he said.
Makhura stated that the project had been abandoned but that anytime the City became aware of his presence, it despatched workers to the site to keep them occupied as if they were working. He claimed that there had been commitments from businesses, stating that as soon as the BPO park in Hammanskraal was completed, they would begin hiring 1 500 people.
The building, he said, should be done by the end of the year, according to MEC for Economic Development, Agriculture, and Rural Development Parks Tau.
Makhura also stated that he will meet with the City to sign a memorandum of understanding that will allow the Gauteng government to take over the project.